VELLORE: With no one to care for stray dogs, which survive by munching leftovers along the roadside and outside eateries, amid the complete lockdown in Tamil Nadu, animal lovers of Vellore have come together to feed them.
Led by S Sugumar, founder-president of New World Animal Rescue, sixteen animal lovers have joined hands to cook food and feed the animals at different localities.
The volunteers of the Pallikonda-based organisation began feeding stray animals on Monday, the first day of the complete lockdown.
“On the first day of the complete lockdown, we provided food to about 350 stray dogs in several localities in Gudiyatham and Pernambut in Vellore district,” said Sugumar.
The volunteers cook the food themselves at a makeshift kitchen on the premises of the office of New World Animal Rescue at Pallikonda and pack them in packets before ferrying them to the distribution points.
Sugumar, an ex-serviceman, said, “We cook the food on our own and pack them in small packets. Then we take them to the places of distribution.”
Apart from providing food to stray dogs in Vellore, the volunteers of animal care are planning to feed those in neighbouring Tirupathur and Ranipet districts as well.
During the first wave of the Covid pandemic too, they had fed stray animals in the three districts. Apart from street dogs, they also feed the monkeys straying on hills and hill top temples.
Although the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) in Vellore district has supported them with rice and wheat bran, the volunteers are looking for some kind-hearted people to give the push to sustain the service to the stray dogs.
Regional joint director of AHD J Navaneethakrishnan said, “We have given 15 bags of wheat bran and 10 bags of rice, each bag having 25 kg, for the New World Animal Rescue for feeding stray dogs.”
He added that the department has also supported two persons with rice to feed the horses they have been rearing.